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Hamlin holds off Johnson at Martinsville for Chase win

Johnson's run of trips to Victory Lane ends at five, but he still leads the Chase for the Championship.

October 26, 2009|Wire Reports

Denny Hamlin didn't need to do anything elaborate to exact his revenge on Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He just drove right by him.

And then he drove away with ease on three restarts in the final 52 laps, ending the three-time defending series champion's remarkable run of five trips to Victory Lane in the last six races at the shortest circuit in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

Hamlin used an out-of-sequence pit stop after about 160 laps to move to the front, then held on up there until the entire leaderboard headed for pit road about 20 laps later.

"Once we got that track position, our car just kind of took off," he said.

Hamlin wound up leading the last 138 laps after passing Johnson, and pulled away after a restart with 52 laps to go, another with 12 laps left and a then a two-lap sprint to the end.

Seeking his record fourth consecutive series title, Johnson extended his lead over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin from 90 to 118 with four races remaining. Jeff Gordon, also of Hendrick, remained third but saw his deficit grow from 135 to 150.

Juan Pablo Montoya finished third in the race, followed by Kyle Busch, who passed Gordon on the final lap. Martin finished eighth.

Rookie Ben Spies won the World Superbike Championship at Portimao, Portugal, becoming the first American to do so since fellow Texan Colin Edwards in 2002.



Indians hire Acta to be their manager

The Cleveland Indians hired Manny Acta to be their manager, giving him the job about three months after he was fired by the Washington Nationals.

Acta signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2013, said Indians spokesman Bart Swain.

Baseball analyst Steve Phillips has been fired by ESPN after admitting to an affair with an assistant.



Matteson takes Open

Recovering from a late collapse, Troy Matteson birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler in the Open at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Matteson (68) bogeyed the final two holes of regulation to fall into the playoff with Lovemark (64) and Fowler (64), who are both seeking PGA Tour cards.

Phil Blackmar won his first Champions Tour title, birdieing five of his first six holes en route to a seven-under-par 64 and a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas, Tom Kite and Andy Bean in the AT&T Championship at San Antonio.

Blackmar, who joined the Champions Tour late in 2007, had a 10-under 203 total on the Oak Hills course.

Matt Every won the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at Charleston, S.C., to earn a 2010 PGA Tour card with a 10th-place finish on the money list, closing with a five-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over Michael Sim.



UCLA's Roll has a sprained ankle

Michael Roll joined the list of injured UCLA basketball players when he sprained his right ankle.

Roll was hurt during practice Sunday and will see a doctor today, when it will be determined how much time he will miss.

The Bruins already have five scholarship players on the inactive list because of injury.

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus defeated Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-1, 7-5, to win the Stockholm Open.

Baghdatis' victory against his friend and training partner at Royal Tennis Hall gave him the third singles title of his career.

Unseeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland won her first WTA Tour title, beating sixth-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany, 6-2, 7-5, in the Luxembourg Open final.

Mikhail Youzhny of Russia beat Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy defeated Olga Govortsova of Belarus to win Kremlin Cup titles at Moscow.

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